Carruthers Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4
A modern building with strong local presence and a striking interior. Some furnishings from the predecessor church by Weightman & Hadfield and other churches in the area are incorporated in the church.
Ancoats is an industrial suburb of inner Manchester which grew from the late eighteenth century with the development of steam-powered cotton mills. Workers’ housing sprang up and the area later became a notorious slum. Migrants into the area included many Irish families escaping from the Famine and seeking work. A Sunday school was established in 1846 and a church built in 1848 from designs by Weightman & Hadfield.
New schools included a new boys’ school built in 1927 from designs by Hill, Sandy & Norris. However, even before the onset of war, slum clearance began and continued in the post war years. The population dwindled and did not revive until new housing schemes and regeneration started in the late 1990s. The old church was demolished and replaced by the present building, built from designs by Gordon Parry & Partners, in 1977-8. The church was consecrated in 1998.
All orientations given are liturgical. The church is of brown brick and built on a sub-rectangular plan with the church set diagonally within the space. The corner forming the east end is rounded off and rises above the rest in the form of a funnel with clerestory lighting on the inner side bringing light into the sanctuary. Tall vertical slit windows light the nave.
The interior is striking, with an exposed roof structure and careful control of light, creating a dramatic space. The furnishings include statuary and an altar frontal from the predecessor church, Stations of the Cross and a statue of St Michael from St Michael’s church, Ancoats (disused) and other items from St Vincent’s Openshaw (demolished). The presbytery is integrated into the design and is attached on the west side.
Original Date: 1978
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed